ANAHEIM, California – Shohei Ohtani will pitch for his team, the Los Angeles Angels, on Sunday after his sore arm apparently felt much better in a bullpen session.
Ohtani threw roughly 30 pitches Friday, and the Angels decided their two-way superstar hasn’t finished on the mound as they seal another season without a playoff ticket.
Ohtani is 9-2 with a 3.36 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 21 starts as a starter this season for the Angels, but the AL MVP candidate felt arm fatigue when sparring Wednesday. He was also punished by the Astros last Friday in Houston; he gave up six runs and nine hits and didn’t make it out of the fourth inning of his first loss since May.
He had been penciled in to pitch Friday against Oakland in the opener of Los Angeles’ last home stay, but that outing was postponed Wednesday as the Angels debated whether or not to suspend their activities on the mound entirely.
Now, Ohtani will face the A’s, who are still chasing a postseason berth, to close out the weekend.
Ohtani has thrown 115 1/3 innings this season while playing almost daily as the Angels’ designated hitter. He has stalled at the plate during the second half of the season, hitting .200 with just seven home runs in his 44 previous games before Friday.
He recently lagged behind Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Kansas City’s Salvador Perez in the major league home run run after holding a sizable lead for much of the summer.
Ohtani singled in the first inning and flied in the second against the A’s on Friday night. He started the home run second in the majors in extra-base hits, fourth in slugging percentage and fifth in OPS.